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Related to desuetude: desuetudo


The state of being unused; legally, the doctrine by which a law or treaty is rendered obsolete because of disuse. The concept encompasses situations in which a court refuses to enforce an unused law even if the law has not been repealed.

Desuetude saw use as a defense during the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which dealt with Texas' Sodomy law. Lawrence successfully argued that since statutes prohibiting sodomy had either fallen into obscurity or been overturned in most states, Texas' statute was similarly invalid.


noun abandonment, abeyance, absence, abstention, archaism, arrest, cancellation, cessation, desistance, desuetudo, discarding, disusage, disuse, dormancy, failure to use, halt, impotence, inaction, inactivity, inanimation, inertia, inusitation, inutility, neglect, nonavailability, nonretention, nonuse, obsolescence, obsoleteness, omission, relinquishment, stagnation, standstill, state of being unused, stop, stoppage, stoppage of use, surrender, suspension, termination
See also: abolition, disuse, nonuse

DESUETUDE. This term is applied to laws which have become obsolete. (q.v.)

References in periodicals archive ?
L'intention est celle de demontrer l'importance majeure d'un evenement qui, dans le cadre de la complexite etonnante de la periode decembre 1989-mai 1990, a ete probablement qualifie comme lieu commun et laisse tomber en desuetude.
This article begins by explaining why the desuetude of traditional
Like the claim on desuetude, this argument rests on an interpretation of practice joined with a theory of international law, but the practice in question comes from the statements and justifications made by states and others arguing for the legality of humanitarian intervention.
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile-winning jockey has been handed 10 quality rides by the Godolphin stable, including Desuetude, the horse he was unseated from last Thursday.
Jockey Richard Mullen said he saw Ajtebi falling down from the Godolphin horse Desuetude besides him and the horse walked on him.
AHMED AJTEBI was discharged from hospital in Dubai on Thursday night following a fall when Desuetude stumbled soon after the start of the 6f race won by Sir Gerry at Meydan.
Malgre des differences disciplinaires et methodologiques mineures (9), pour les deux auteurs un message oral passe par une adaptation a la realite sociale vecue par les contemporains, les images auxquelles renvoie le recit oral jouant alors le role d'un continuum culturel : << Tous les messages oraux poursuivent un objectif qui prend forme dans le present ; sinon, tis tomberaient en desuetude et la tradition, dans l'oubli (10) >>.
While it has fallen into desuetude, the segmentation thesis (Bucher and Strauss, 1961) is, perhaps, an analytic approach that is sensitive to [practice] and [academic field] as complementary parts of heterogeneous, diverse entities.
unenforceable a rare case of application of the desuetude doctrine
We should also be concerned about the notwithstanding clause falling into desuetude.
Thus it was that the gay cowboy fell largely into desuetude until the 2005 release of Brokeback Mountain, which changed everything.
On the one hand, it produced Chaucer and rated him highly as a poet, guaranteeing a worthy point of origin to English poetic tradition; but on the other hand, it was so long ago, and is marked by such difference from late sixteenth-century culture that many of Chaucer's words and expressions have fallen into desuetude, needing the rescue of the editorial hand.